When I began writing Finding Sara (The Wild Rose Press), I did not intend it to be the first book in a series. Somewhere along the way—I don’t remember exactly when—I decided to make Finding Sara the first of a trilogy.
The second book, Loving Rose, has now been published. I’m working on the third and last one, Marrying Molly.
It’s been an interesting experience. There are many things to take into consideration as you go along. You’re concentrating on the story at hand, but you’re also keeping in mind what you can include that will pave the way for the next book.
One thing you need to determine is exactly how you will tie the books together so that the term “series” will apply.
An obvious way is to have secondary characters in the first book be the main characters in the second book, and so on. In Finding Sara, rancher Jackson Phillips’ sister, Rose, had already broken up with Dr. Mike Mahoney when the story opens. Keeping the reason for their breakup a secret (I didn’t know it at the time, anyway) and having them remain apart during Finding Sara provided the basic plot for the next book, Loving Rose.
Sometimes, the characters who star in the books are related to one another, as is the case with Jackson Phillips and his sister, Rose. But sometimes, they are not. Molly Hensen, the star of the third story, Marrying Molly, is not related to Jackson and Rose, but she is “like family.” The seeds for her story are planted in Book 1. In Book 2, events occur that form the basic plot for Marrying Molly.
Other story elements, such as, setting, themes, and conflicts, may also help to tie books together as a series. These elements will be the subjects of future blogs.
I’d love to hear your opinions and ideas about series. If you’re a writer, what prompted you to write a series? How many books are there? What ties the stories together? If you’re a reader rather than a writer, what do you look for when choosing a series to follow?
Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a print copy of Loving Rose. The drawing will close on Friday, November 11, 2011.